Brussels, 23 May 2012 Council and the European Parliament reach a provisional agreement on the sulphur content of marine fuels
European Council - PRES/12/208 30/05/2012
Other available languages: FR
The Committee of Permanent Representatives endorsed today the compromise proposal agreed between the Council and the European Parliament regarding the directive amending directive 1999/32/EC as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels
Emissions from shipping due to the combustion of marine fuels with a high sulphur content contribute to air pollution in the form of sulphur dioxide and particulate matter, which harm human health and contribute to acidification. The directive aims therefore to reduce these emissions considerably and to provide a high level of protection for human health and the environment by rendering the most recent International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules on marine fuel standards mandatory in the EU, thereby amending Directive 1999/32/EC.
The text as it stands now was negotiated in informal "trilogue" meetings between the Council - represented by the Danish presidency - the European Parliament and the European Commission.
The key elements of the agreement are:
The Commission submitted its proposal on July 2011 (12806/11). The European Economic and Social Committee adopted its opinion on January 20121. The Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) of the European Parliament adopted on February 20102 a draft position at first reading, suggesting 56 amendments to the Commission proposal.
After the European Parliament adopts its position on first reading, the directive will be officially adopted by the Council. Member states will have 18 months after the entry into force of the directive to adopt the necessary national provisions.
In the EU SECAs cover the Baltic and North Seas and the English Channel